Tennessee (4-4 | 2-3 SEC) at #18 Kentucky (6-2 | 4-2 SEC)
Saturday, November 6th, 2021 | 6:00pm CT
Lexington, KY | Kroger Field | TV: ESPN2
Lexington, KY – Fresh off a productive open week, the Tennessee Vols football team is back in action this Saturday night, November 6th with another SEC east showdown against No. 18 Kentucky at Kroger Field in Lexington.
Both teams will be looking to get back in the win column after dropping their most recent games. The Vols battled hard at No. 4 Alabama two weeks ago before the Crimson Tide pulled away in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats fell to Mississippi State on the road last Saturday, 31-17.
Saturday’s game will be televised in primetime on ESPN2 with Beth Mowins (PxP), Kirk Morrison (analyst), and Dawn Davenport (sideline) on the call. Kickoff is slated for 6:05pm CT.
Fans can listen to Tennessee’s official radio broadcast on the Vol Network (WIVK-FM 107.7/WNML-FM 99.1) and satellite radio (XM Ch. 386, Internet Ch. 976). A live audio stream of the broadcast will also be available on UTSports.com? and the Official Gameday App.
Bob Kesling (PxP), Pat Ryan (analyst) and Brent Hubbs (analyst) will call the action, with Kasey Funderburg handling sideline duties. Big Orange Countdown begins at 4:30pm CT.
Need To Know
Fast, Fun, Real
Tennessee enters Saturday’s game with the fastest offense in Division I college football, averaging 2.89 plays per minute. The Big Orange also average 1.48 points per minute, which leads the SEC and ranks fifth in the FBS.
Scoring in Bunches
The Vols have been one of the SEC’s most explosive offenses this season under first-year head coach Josh Heupel. UT’s 299 points have already eclipsed its point total for the entire 2020 season (215 in 10 games). It is Tennessee’s most points through eight games since the 1995 team scored 323. The Big Orange are averaging 37.4 points per game, which ranks 16th nationally and fourth in the SEC.
Heupel Off a Bye
During Heupel’s three years as head coach at UCF, he posted an impressive 5-1 record after bye weeks, scoring 34 or more points in all six games.
- 2020 vs. Temple: W, 38-13
- 2020 vs. Memphis: L, 50-49
- 2019 vs. East Carolina: W, 41-28
- 2019 at Tulane: W, 34-31
- 2018 vs. Temple: W, 52-40
- 2018 vs. Florida Atlantic: W, 56-36
Hooker on Pace for Record-Setting Season
Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker is currently on pace to set program records in passing efficiency and completion percentage. The redshirt senior signal-caller leads the SEC and ranks fourth nationally with a 179.92 passing efficiency.
The current program record for passing efficiency is 163.10 by Darryl Dickey in 1985. Hooker has also completed 68.7 percent of his passes so far this season, which is on pace to break Erik Ainge’s single-season mark of 67.0 percent in 2006.
Tennessee / Kentucky Series History
Volunteers lead series, 81-26-9
The Tennessee-Kentucky series is one of the oldest in college football with the two teams first meeting coming back in 1893. This will be the 117th meeting between the two programs.
The Vols have played (116 times) and beaten (81 times) the Wildcats more than any other opponent. The two sides have split the last four meetings after UK snapped a 17-game losing streak at Neyland Stadium with a 34-7 victory last year.
About the Kentucky Wildcats
The Kentucky Wildcats is led by head coach Mark Stoops, who is in his ninth season with the program. Stoops owns a 55-52 career record and has built the Wildcats into a formidable foe in the SEC eastern division.
The Wildcats feature a run-first attack led by Chris Rodriguez Jr., who ranks second in the SEC with 809 rushing yards and 101.1 rushing yards per game. He has scored five touchdowns but has also had issues with fumbles this season.
Junior quarterback Will Levis has played nearly every snap this season, throwing for 1,462 yards, 14 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. He also ranks third on the team in rushing with 184 yards and three scores on the ground. Levi’s top target is the dangerous Wan’Dale Robinson, who ranks second in the SEC with 58 receptions and third in the league with 659 receiving yards. His five touchdown catches are tied for eighth in the conference, as well.
As has become the norm under Stoops, Kentucky’s defense has been solid once again this season, ranking fourth in the SEC in rushing defense (116.0 ypg), fifth in scoring defense (20.8 ppg), and sixth in total defense (335.5 ypg). Senior linebacker Jacquez Jones leads the team with 64 total tackles while senior defensive end Josh Paschal ranks second in the SEC with a team-high 10.5 tackles for loss.